We have the intelligence of a city in the open air. Look closely and you’ll feel it. International artists keep studios on back roads, and one of the largest contemporary art museums in the world lives in a maze of an old mill. Contemporary art meets the past here, in fields from digital imaging to outdoor sculpture in the meadow grass.

We have museums with global followings. Sol LeWitt’s vivid color brightens the brick walls at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art. Impressionists gather at the Clark Art Institute, and visitors sit the reflecting pool. Illustrators surround Norman Rockwell’s studio.

Artists create new work, and conservitors restore work centuries old. A painter and printmaker from Botswana shows wall-sized canvases in a college museum, basking deep in afternoon sunlight.

Art Museums in the Berkshires

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Mass MoCA

A 150-year-old mill at the fork of the Hoosic River is now the largest contemporary art museum in the country, and one of the largest on the planet. New exhibits open each season, bringing artists from across the U.S. and the world — China, Kashmir, Israel, Nunavut — and long-term installations span many years, from Sol LeWitt’s rainbow swirl of murals to Laurie Anderson’s sound studio.


Clark Art Institute

Renoir rubs elbows with Rodin, and the reflecting pool glows between northeast granite and classical marble. The Clark Art Institute holds a collection of Impressionists and more on a campus re-imagined by Tadao Ando.


Norman Rockwell Museum

In his hometown, the Norman Rockwell Museum celebrates Rockwell’s work and his tradition. Year-round exhibits honor illustration as an artform and celebrate contemporary artists, integrity and freedom.


Bennington Museum

The Bennington Museum holds the largest collection of Grandma Moses’ paintings in the world — and shows them a few feet from the abstract Color Field artists who gravitated to Bennington College in the 1960s. And the museum argues they have more in common than you think.



In a studio with tall windows letting in the north light, Daniel Chester French created the figure of Abraham Lincoln for the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. Today contemporary sculpture lines the paths and gardens in the summer and fall.


Field Farm

Nature and Modern art mingle at Field Farm in Williamstown. The Trustees of Reservations maintains the outoor sculpture garden and trails— open to the public from sunrise to sunset all year — and runs the house as a Bed and Breakfast, and they will open the Folly for art tours occasionally through the summer and fall.


Frelinghuysen Morris

George L.K. Morris and Suzy Frelinghuysen collected Modernists when the artists were living and barely known. New York artists themselves, they took an early lead in the Modernist movement in America. This art deco house in Lenox was their summer home and studio, and it preserves their collection and their artwork.


Hancock Shaker Village

From 1783 to 1960, a Shaker community lived and farmed here. Today the village is a living history museum known for its Round Stone Barn, with farm animals and CSA gardens, art and craft, and dinners and music.


Hilltown6 ceramics

Nine local potters in the hills and back roads on the eastern rim of the Berkshires have gathered together into a team earning national recognition — on the last weekend in July, they open their studios and kilns to the public for the annual Hilltown6 Pottery Tour.


The Mount

Edith Wharton, the first woman to win the Pulitzer Prize, wrote many of her best-known novels in this house, in the 10 years she lived in Lenox — from The House of Mirth to Ethan Frome. Her house is now a museum, a center of writing, music and performance, landscape and gardens, dedicated to keeping her spirit alive.



The Williams College Museum of Art is a college museum, a teaching museum showing artists around the world and across centuries, from paintings by Edward Hopper and Meleko Mokgosi to contemporary photography, to 9th-century BC Assyrian stone reliefs from Nineveh.


Williams College

Williams College is named the top liberal arts college in the country, out in the Berkshire hills with an art museum, theater and music, talks and trails — and a spirit of making its own fun.